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In The Social-Distance Market, Every Business Is An Online Business. Are You Equipped?

In the age of coronavirus, it has become more important than ever for every business - large or small - to have the ability to reach their customers in the digital realm. With thousands of businesses shutting their physical doors, the need to throw open the digital doors and windows has become vital to reach the millions of customers now spending their day social distancing at home. Even when government officials give the “all clear” to come out, it is likely that it will be a long time before everyone feels comfortable coming back out to shop. In fact, it is increasingly unlikely that the economy will ever look the same as it did in late 2019. Is your business preparing to handle this new “corona-economy”? The first place to start is by taking a look at the home of your online presence - your website. Now, A Website Makes All The Difference Just because more people are staying home doesn’t mean that they have stopped consuming. In fact, online retailers and streaming services have seen a meteoric rise in sales in recent weeks.  More people are moving to order online. To take advantage of this new online economy, it is imperative that your website acts like an employee.  It must provide accurate, up-to-date information on the services and features that your business or organization offers. Equally important is a fully-functioning e-commerce shopping feature. You may have had a website for your business for years. However, did you ever expect that your website would become the primary - and perhaps only - method by which current and potential customers access your services or products? If you are a company that has been forced to shut [...]

Being ADA Compliant Also Helps Your SEO

Missed opportunities are abound on your web site for improving your search ranking and being able to reach out to audiences who have a disability. What does it mean to be ADA Compliant? The Americans with Disabilities Act (also known as ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law that was enacted to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination. When you web site is ADA compliant, that means that individuals with disabilities can still interact with your site and conduct normal business. Being ADA Compliant benefits your Search Engine Ranking in multiple ways Add alt tags to your photos so site visitors who use readers know what is there Add title tags to your links.  Use these to explain what happens when that link is clicked. Make sure your site is clean Use title tags - H1, H2, H3 etc to break out pages into meaningful sections. Use heading tags in order that makes sense Running my site through a compliance tester, I realized that I do not have enough contract on my text vs the background.  This can make it difficult for those who are visually impaired to read through my content. Wordpress has a number of plug ins that help with ADA compliance: WP Accessibility Accessibility dy UserWay Web Accessibility Tool for ADA Section 508 and SEO Have questions or need assistance?  Please contact us at anytime

Social Networking Sites for Book Lovers

For the love of books! What is wonderful about social networking is virtually gathering with a group of interesting people and discussing interesting things.  If you love book clubs, talking about the latest novel or self help book you have read, then the below sites are perfect for you.  Explore, poke around, find a niche of people who celebrate books as much as you do. If any of these sites are no longer working, please let me know.  I try to keep track of them, but life can get in the way. Anobii.com - a social networking site for book lovers BookCrossing.com - A community of users from over 130 countries who exchange books with each other at public places like cafes, parks etc. BookMooch.com - An interesting concept where users can exchange books with others through points. Users gain points when they give books to others. Book Talk -  a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club.  From the web site "We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us! " GoodReads - GoodReads is a book reader’s community enabling members to review, share books they have been reading. Lit Lovers - for lovers of literature (of course) PaperBackSwap.com - Users can share books among each other and only pay for the delivery charges. Reading Group Choices - Reading Group Choices partners with publishers, independent bookstores, public libraries, [...]

How to Remove a Facebook Group

Recently I decided to remove a Facebook Group. Apparently so have a lot of other people, all of whom are having a hard time.  There was no simple button to push so I did some digging, and this is what I found: To delete a Facebook group Log into Facebook Click on groups (or use this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/) Click on Groups you admin Select the group you want to remove Remove ALL members by tapping on each member name and clicking delete Remove all other admins Remove yourself Facebook will remove automatically delete the empty group From Facebook "Note that if you were not the first admin and creator of this group, you will not be able to delete the group unless the group creator has left it voluntarily." This is a chore if your group has a lot of members.  I find it surprising that Facebook has no easy method for selecting multiple members (or all members) in a group to remove them.  On the other hand, I presume that Facebook wants us to use groups with care. The alternative is to archive a group.  By archiving a group: it is not searchable new members can not join no one can post to the group The action is reversible.  So, if you no longer want to administer a group with 1,000 plus members, the "easiest" thing to do is archive it. To archive a group: Log into Facebook Click on groups Click on Groups you admin Select the group you want to remove Click More below the cover photo. Select Archive Group. Click Confirm. I don't know why Facebook has a one button "delete fan page" but not the same for groups. Related articles Original Page Admins Can No [...]

Asking Your Audience Works

When you are marketing your products and services, it's easy to get caught up in the process and forget the basics. Recently, I saw a video on TED (below).  The premise was simple. Ask the intended audiance what they like, give it to them and the end result is a group of people who are emotionally invested in the product.  That should be the goal of every service and retail provider.  It goes beyond just providing something good.  It shows your intended audiance that you care about what they think. You care about how the product is going to impact them. You care about creating something that is lasting. It shows them that you are not just here to sell them, but that you truly want to bring value to their lives. And that makes a huge difference to them. It's so simple. Just ask. And they will answer. [ted id=2183]

Facebook Tagging Tips

Tagging on Facebook accomplishes a few things: Notifies the person tagged.  This calls attention to the status update or comment. Notifies the page admin.  Tagging a page can post the status update on that page and bring your friends' attention to the page. Notifies the page admin.  Tagging a page from a page gives both pages more exposure. A tag is a hyperlink.  Making it easy for your friends or fans  to click and visit the  page or person that you’ve tagged.  Your post is usually displayed onto the Wall or Timeline of the Page or friend that you've tagged. Tagging People: When you tag a person in a status update or in a comment, their name is highlighted.  Use the @ symbol before their name.  You must be personally connected to the individual to tag them.  If you are tagging within a group, you can tag any other member of that group, whether you are personally connected to them or not. Tags offer the most notice in photos.  People ALWAYS notice when they are tagged in a photo and that photo then gets shared with your friends and their friends.   Ditto for Video.  Don't abuse this.  Tag people who are actually in the photo.   If the photo is an event flyer, go easy.  This isn't a practice I like, it feels invasive to me, but people do it anyway. Tagging Pages: If you are tagging as a page admin, it's easiest if you "Use Facebook as Page" and tag other pages that way.  Your page must "like" the page you want to tag.  Again use the @ sign in front of the page name.  Remember, business pages can not tag people. You do NOT need to tag if you [...]

Stretching Your Online Marketing Dollar

What tool do you currently have in your tool box that has the capacity to reach hundreds or thousand of prospects that costs you pennies a day? The answer: Your Website. Most Websites have a one time fixed upfront cost and a monthly or annual hosting fee. Once your site is up and running, there is little in terms of financial investment that is required to keep it working for you. There are many tools freely available on the internet that will help you to spread your message and get you noticed. First, look at organizations that you are already a member of, Chambers of Commerce, Professional Associations and Industry Associations. Check out their Websites and see if they have a member listing page. If they do, make sure your Website is listed there and if it is not, contact them and have them put it up. Any activity that you participate in online must have your Website address attached to it. Look for industry related forums that you feel comfortable participating in. Join in and make sure that every post you put up has your Website address in it. Similarly, make sure your Website address is on your email signature. If you like to read blogs that pertain to your industry or even just as a hobby, leave a meaningful comment with your name and Website address in it. Create profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, start a blog, do something that gets you into a conversation with potential customers. The conversation is the most important part of the process. Customers want to talk to you, the business owner. When something goes wrong or they have something to share with you, today’s consumer wants to [...]

Social Media Isn’t for Cowards

It's easy to share your about yourself or your opinions when you are hanging out with a close group of friends.  Even if they disagree with you, odds are the conversation will be fairly respectful (maybe a few friendly digs) but you will get your point across and no one will be bleeding. Sharing on social media Isn't for cowards. To do so in the Social Media channels can potentially be a risk.  You don't know who will see it, or how they will respond to it. It doesn't even have to be an opinion - Social Media is filled with misunderstood ad campaigns that simply pissed someone or some group off and a fire storm ensued. Do it anyway. I don't mean go out there and intentionally start pissing people off, or to get into a massive political debate, like we saw in the last presidential election.  But I do mean to share your truth - share a post that is all YOU. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of massage therapists, accountants, life coaches, etc who all share the same thing.   The differentiator  in your business is you.  No one does exactly what you do in the way you do it.  More importantly, no one gets the same exact joy by doing what you do.... share that.   Share the experience of doing business with you so you will stand out from the hundreds of others. I have a lot of competition in my industry - and I don't mind it.  It keeps me sharp and quite frankly honest to myself, to my clients and to my community.  I share what I do, how I do it and why I do it, [...]

Facebook Wants to know your Real Name

I hate to say "I told you so"... but I TOLD YOU SO. Want my name or my logo? Your Facebook personal profile must use your name.  Not a business name, not your nick name, not a made up name, but your actual name.  While the policy has come under heat lately, there are some valid reasons for the rule. According to Facebook, " Facebook is a community where people use their authentic identities. We require people to provide the name they use in real life; that way, you always know who you're connecting with. This helps keep our community safe."  You can read the rest in Facebook's name policy.   I like connecting with people on Facebook.  If I wanted to connect with a brands, I'd go like a page and pay attention to it.  I enjoy meeting the faces behind the logo and want to put a real name to that face.    I do business with people, even if I write the check out to a brand name.  Don't you? Recently a business associate of mine found himself locked out of Facebook.  When asked to verify his name, he could not.  His Facebook name was "D.J. Tim Smith".  While Tim Smith (not his real name, I am using it for example purposes) is his name, the D.J. portion is simply a job title.  That's a big no no in Facebook's world.  In the end, he was reinstated by removing the title and using his actual name. Facebook suggests you create a business page for your business name and / or title.  Facebook does give you the opportunity to change your name, and does allow for nicknames, maiden names, etc.  Look under your settings and click [...]

The New Facebook Timeline Rolls out this Week

Are you ready for more changes? The new Facebook Page timeline rolls out this week.  It reminds us that everything old is new again.  The new Facebook Timeline for Business Pages looks similar to the original Facebook Page, but there are a few things you may need to change to make sure you are taking full advantage of the new layout.   Take a peek at some of the elements of the new pages timeline.  During my research for "How to Market and Promote Your Book using Facebook" e-book, I came across Tom Clancy's facebook Page.  Notice where the about box is and the custom app tabs.  The timeline is in a clear row on the right and the boxes that appeared at the top of the page are now on the left.  Notice the links in the about box are no longer clickable (big bummer).  But the web site is displayed right under the about box.   The custom apps are no longer as prominent.  If you have more then one custom app, the last button will say "more" (another bummer). Guy Kawaski's page has multiple custom apps - as shown below. The upside to the changes are easier navigation for the admins and a great floating bar that asks you to like the page if you have not already. The admin tabs are cleaner and easier to look through. Has your page been converted yet?  Share your thoughts.

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